Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Many Talents, 1 Roof 

Posted by James at 10:17 AM ET

New Center Will Teach Range of Performing Arts

by Jason Thomas
The Indianapolis Star
As a 14 year old, Julie Bandy's thirst for the ultimate performing arts education led her to Interlochen Arts Academy in northern Michigan.

There the dancer studied alongside musicians, writers and visual artists at the private boarding school.

"They had so much integration of the arts that every artist grew so much by working with other artists," Bandy said. "That integration exploded in all of us.
"I just think it's so important for every artist and for all musicians and dancers to be able to integrate together."

Bandy has carried that philosophy over to her new venture, the Julie Bandy Performing Arts Centre -- a virtual melting pot of performing arts instruction.

A grand opening ceremony will be from 1 to 4pm today (Last Sunday - James) at the center, 6025 Madison Ave., in a small strip center at the southeast corner of Madison and Edgewood avenues.
Julie Bandy
Harkening back to her days at Interlochen, Bandy, 37, White River Township, has created a place where dancers, musicians and cheerleaders can hone their skills in the same environment.

"There just isn't a single place in the state that integrates all of this under one roof," said Bandy, who has been a dance instructor for 19 years. "There are people going all the way up north for one thing, and somewhere else for something else. Why not have it all here and we can work together as one unit?"

Bandy, a single mother, also kept parents in mind. As they wait on their children, parents can enjoy a massage, go tanning or take yoga classes.

"It's great for families because of that," Bandy said. "In regards to students and teachers, they're excited about walking down the hallway and hearing a violin or classical guitar on one side and hip-hop on the other. It's going to be a place that has a lot of energy."

Local professionals are praising Bandy's novel approach of reaching out to arts organizations for partnerships, including the Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana, which will operate a satellite campus out of the center.

"What she's done is probably the most innovative thing we've seen in a long time," said Russ Smith, executive director of the ballet academy, headquartered on the Far Northside. "The most intelligent thing I've heard from Julie is that she doesn't know everything. So she's gone out and gotten the professionals who are established to come here and teach her students."

The Indianapolis Academy of Music also will use the center as a satellite facility where musicians can practice in one of the nine soundproof rooms.
Students also can learn modeling and acting.

In addition to offering ballet, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, tap and hip-hop dance lessons for ages 3 and up, Bandy has cooked up another unique program: professional dance team training.

Bandy, who was a choreographer of the now-defunct Indiana Firebirds arena football dance team, has partnered with Colts cheerleaders and the Indiana Pacemates to instruct hopefuls on everything from nutrition to the proper wardrobe -- and dance, of course.

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